The bottom-dwelling Washington Nationals will square off with the high-flying Los Angeles Dodgers in the biggest mismatch on tonight’s slate. Viewers can tune into the action via ESPN+ at least, but with the Dodgers listed as 2.5-run favorites in some places, it probably won’t be pretty. Let’s dig into the betting odds for Tuesday’s Nationals-Dodgers game to make our MLB predictions and identify the best bet. We’re backing L.A. and trusting one of their best offensive players.
Best MLB Nationals-Dodgers Bet & Prediction: J.D. Martinez & L.A. Get it Done
Washington Nationals-Los Angeles Dodgers Odds
Odds via BetMGM
Nationals: +240 | Dodgers: -300
Over 9: -105 | Under 9: -115
The pitching battle is emblematic of this mismatch between these teams. The Nationals will start RHP Jake Irvin (1-2), whose already-poor 5.32 ERA is dwarfed by his 6.51 xERA. The Dodgers will start RHP Tony Gonsolin (2-1), whose 1.82 ERA is unsustainably high relative to his 3.77 xERA, but that’s still enough to afford L.A. a significant edge on the mound. Gonsolin leads the Dodgers in FiveThirtyEight’s rolling game score at 56.9. Irvin ranks fourth in Washington’s NL-worst rotation at 46.5.
Although you already know the Dodgers have a massive edge on offense, it’s worth discussing just to quantify its significance. The Dodgers rank an impressive fourth in weighted on-base average, or wOBA, at .336, but that number could be even higher — they rank second in expected weighted on-base average, or xwOBA, at .350. The Nationals rank 20th in wOBA at .315 and 22nd in xwOBA at .314. The Dodgers play in a relatively hitter-friendly park, so their underperformance relative to expectation likely falls on bad luck.
The splits make the delta between these teams all the more obvious. The Dodgers own an impressive .781 OPS on the year that improves to .809 when they play at home and .784 when they face right-handed pitching. The Nationals own a .713 OPS that ticks up to .724 in road games but collapses to .675 against right-handed pitching. Their OPS also drops to .680 in night games, while the Dodgers’ jumps to .805, likely a meaningful function of time zones and travel.
Almost every book has the Dodgers as a favorite of -350 (77.8%) or better, but BetMGM has this line at -300 (75%), which is actually better than the -308 (75.5%) available at Pinnacle. I’m not recommending that you get excited about a 0.5% edge; rather, I’m recommending that you use it as a same-game parlay piece. Let’s tie this together with J.D. Martinez to record two-plus bases. Martinez owns an elite 1.012 OPS against right-handed pitching, and Dodger Stadium ranks ninth-best for right-handed batters over the last three seasons. New to BetMGM? Get first-bet insurance up to $1,000!
Best Nationals-Dodgers MLB Bet: Dodgers ML/Martinez 2+ Bases +150 at BetMGM